Guile refers to deceitful or sly behavior, often with the intention of tricking or manipulating someone.


US English

UK English

Part of Speech

Guile is a noun.


Deceit, cunning, duplicity, trickery, craftiness.


Honesty, candor, straightforwardness, sincerity, frankness.

Word Forms

Part of Speech Words
Noun guiles, guile
Verb None
Adjective None
Adverb None

Example Sentences

  • The con artist used his guile to trick unsuspecting victims out of their money.

  • She employed her guile to persuade her boss to give her a promotion.

  • The villain’s guile allowed him to outwit the hero at every turn.

  • The spy’s guile helped her extract valuable information from her targets.


The word “guile” typically has a negative connotation, as it refers to behavior that is intentionally deceptive or manipulative. It can be used to describe both individuals and their actions or strategies. For example, a person might be described as “full of guile” if they are particularly skilled at tricking or manipulating others.

The word “guile” is derived from the Old French word “guile,” which meant trickery or deceit. It is often associated with cunning or sly behavior, and is sometimes used to describe someone who is particularly clever or quick-witted.

There are several variations of the word “guile” that have slightly different meanings or connotations. For example, the adjective “guileful” can be used to describe someone who is full of guile or deceitful, while the adverb “guilefully” can be used to describe behavior or actions that are done in a deceitful or manipulative way.

The word “guile” is sometimes confused with “gile,” which is a variant spelling of the word “gill” (as in the respiratory organ of fish). However, these two words have very different meanings and should not be used interchangeably.